These cheesy Baked Parmesan Cauliflower Bites are a healthier version of an Italian flavored tater tot! A delicious appetizer or side dish served with marinara dipping sauce.
The sun has finally reappeared! Last week it felt more like Seattle than Colorado around here. We had constant clouds, rain, and even a big wet snow Saturday night to top it off. Having a big snow like we did isn’t uncommon here in May. Last year it landed on my birthday, so I’m glad it came a few days earlier this year.
I was in panic mode all last week because I couldn’t get enough light to take decent photographs of the food I made to share with you. I would get everything set up and then the clouds would roll in and it would get so dark it looked like nighttime. My fridge was filling up with lots of delicious things I made and we couldn’t even eat them because I needed to get photos first. My husband was less than thrilled about that. Luckily yesterday morning the sun made an appearance and I went on a photographing frenzy and the first thing I photographed were these tasty Baked Parmesan Cauliflower Bites.
Making the cauliflower bites is fairly easy and so much healthier for you than the frozen tater tots you can buy at the store. You’ll need two cups of steamed cauliflower florets to start with. You don’t want them totally soft and mushy, so you’ll only need to steam them for about 4-5 minutes. Put the florets in a food processor and pulse them until they are about the size of rice or couscous. If you don’t have a food processor you can just use a knife and finely chop them. Once the cauliflower is finely chopped put it in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients which are, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, dried basil, oregano, garlic, salt, panko breadcrumbs, and a couple egg whites. Mix everything together then form them into tater tot size looking bites with your hands.
The cauliflower bites are baked on a baking sheet lined with foil and generously sprayed with cooking spray. They tend to want to stick to the foil because of all that melted cheese, so don’t skip this step. Once the bites have baked they come out golden, crispy, and smelling like parmesan, garlic, and basil. They are amazing dipped in marinara sauce! I used this recipe, but any good quality jarred marinara will work just fine. The next time your in the mood for some tots, skip the frozen ones at the store and make these healthier Baked Parmesan Cauliflower Bites instead!
More Appetizer Recipes
Baked Green Chile Chicken Taquitos
Chili Lime Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Skinny Red Chile Enchilada Dip
Baked Parmesan Cauliflower Bites
- 2 heaping cups cauliflower florets
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 400° F., line a baking sheet with foil and spray it generously with cooking spray.
- Steam the cauliflower florets in a covered pot with a little bit of water for 4-5 minutes. They should be tender, but not mushy. Remove the cauliflower from the pot, drain, and blot dry with paper towel.
- Add the steamed cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until it's about the size of rice or couscous. If you don't have a food processor chop it finely with a knife.
- Add the chopped cauliflower to a large bowl along with all the other ingredients except the marinara sauce. Stir everything together until combined then scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into small ovals.
- Place the cauliflower bites onto the prepared baking sheet and lightly spray the tops of them with a little cooking spray. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes or until they are golden. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 145Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 975mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g
Omg girl those cauliflower bites are delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I signed up for your emails so look forward to trying many more. Shelley
I’m glad to hear you liked the cauliflower bites Shelley! They make a great snack or appetizer. I have a hard time leaving them alone when I make them! Thanks for signing up for the emails, I hope you find lots of recipes to try!
I have a bunch of cauliflower left from a veggie party platter & i’m making these yummy tots with them today! Thanks for the recipe. Love your site! I’m so hungry now ;)
Thanks for trying the recipe Janelle! What a perfect way to use of the leftover cauliflower!
They taste just like a tater-tot! I looked at the recipe and realized I had everything but the oregano. Still turned out amazing. I just ate them by themselves without the sauce :)
Thanks so much for trying the cauliflower bites Maritza! So happy to hear you liked them!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I definitely can relate to your cloudy/lighting situation.. I had the same problem here this week! Good thing that it all worked out in the end and you could capture these parmesan cauliflower bites. They look delicious!
Thanks Thalia! Usually clouds aren’t an issue here, but lately it’s been terrible. Here’s hoping the sun sticks around longer next week!
Julie | This Gal Cooks says
So happy that you finally got some much needed sunlight. I tend to love the cloudy days but then when the sun arrives again, I’m just as happy. Great looking cauliflower bites you have here. I need to give them a try – a much better/healthier option than cheese sticks!
Thanks Julie! I like clouds for a day or two, but anything more than that and I start to miss the sun!
Right after I saw your first photo, I was going to comment about how gorgeous the lighting is in your photos! BEAUTIFUL! Ironic that’s what you wrote about, hehe :)
You’re so sweet Beth, thank you! :-)
Nicole - Coking for Keeps says
Ughh spring is my worst enemy and best friend, I hate that the weather is so iffy for photographing but I love that’s it’s slowly warming up. The light is PERFECT here, these crispy cauliflower bites look SO addictive!
Thanks Nicole! I feel the same way about spring, it’s a love/hate relationship. ;-)
Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says
Oh, these look so good — and healthy!
Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats says
OH my goodness! This is seriously such a great idea! Can’t wait to give it a go, love anything cauliflower!
Thanks Krista! If you love cauliflower you’ll love these!